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Work Study

Work-study is a need based, federal or state funded financial aid award. Students benefit from this award because some employers can only accept Work-study awarded job applicants. And, when you file your FAFSA each year, Work-study income is not included when your financial need is determined, which may increase your eligibility for other types of financial aid, such as need based scholarships, grants, and subsidized loans.


To be considered for work-study, a student must: complete a FAFSA each year, qualify for need-based aid, which is determined by the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), enroll at least half-time, and meet all of UMD's Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements.

Getting an award

Undergraduate students with prior year Work-study earnings at UMD that meet the above eligibility requirements are automatically considered for an award each year. Graduate and professional students that meet the above requirements are awarded upon request. New freshmen and transfer students are awarded based on need and date of application, until funding reserved for new students runs out.

Students that did not receive an award offer in their initial financial aid package should contact One Stop Student Services to check on their eligibility. If funding is available and you qualify, One Stop will advise how to request an award.

Funding is limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you are interested in student employment but do not qualify for a work-study award or if funding is no longer available, the other option for student employment is miscellaneous employment through a UMD department. All student employees earn the same wages as determined by the hiring department whether or not they have a work-study award.

Work-Study Award Confirmation

After accepting or requesting a work-study offer, students receive a Work-Study Award Confirmation Email advising them when and how they can use the award.

Important dates for work-study

  • Work dates are determined by your Work-study award period and are noted in our Work-Study award confirmation email.
  • If you begin school in the fall semester, plan to obtain a work-study position by October 10th.
  • You must stop working once your award period ends, which is the last day of finals for the award period.

Work Study FAQ

I have financial need – why didn’t I receive a Work-Study offer?

All schools receive a specific amount of Work-Study funding for their campus. Unfortunately, there is not enough funding to award all eligible students. However, not all eligible students are looking for a job. Students that did not receive an award offer in their initial financial aid package can contact One Stop Student Services to check on their eligibility and funding availability.

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If I drop credits, will my award change?

Maybe. If you change status from full- time to part- time your eligibility is re-calculated, regardless of when you drop credits during the term. If you drop below half-time status, you must stop working immediately. All student employees, even those that do not have Work-study funding, must maintain half-time status during the academic year.

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How do I find a job?

Job postings, application information and student employment rules are posted online at Work study awarded students may apply for all job postings. For specific questions about a job, contact the hiring department. The Financial Aid office cannot assign jobs to students.

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Can I work more than one work-study job, and how to I split my award between the jobs?

You can work more than one Work-Study job, but you must monitor your total earnings from the positions to ensure that you do not exceed your work-study award amount, or work more than 40 total hours per week. When your supervisors or payroll managers ask for your award confirmation email, advise them specifically how much of your total award you will use for the job you have with them. You can send one email out, copying each employer. For example:

Hi – here is my Work-Study award confirmation email. I will use $1200 of my award for my job in the Financial Aid Office, and $800 for my job with the Library”.

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I have an opportunity to work in a job that’s better for my major - how do I transfer my award from my old job to my new one? (You will quit one job in favor of another)

After giving notice to your current employer, complete a Work-Study Request Form at the OneStop to split your award. To complete the form, you and your current employer need to estimate how much of your award you will need to finish out your hours there. You will receive a new Work-Study Award Confirmation email to forward to your new employer for the unused remainder of your award.

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How many hours can I work per week?

You cannot exceed 40 hours per week. Every student and work schedule is different. Work together with your supervisor to agree on a work schedule that's right for you. Most students are awarded for the full academic year. If you are awarded for both fall and spring semesters you should not work more than half your award amount during fall semester, though if you don’t earn half your award fall semester you can make it spring semester. Students with unique circumstances, such as a one semester study abroad program or student teaching, should contact the OneStop regarding how best to adjust their award between the two semesters in order to best utilize their award.

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Can I work over the semester break?

You can work over the break as long as you are enrolled at least half-time for spring semester, and you are not on Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) probation, or warning. If you are on SAP probation or warning, your employer may allow you to work, but they cannot utilize your Work-study award. They will pay you with departmental funding, though you won’t see the difference on your pay statement.

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Can I increase my award?

You and your supervisor should plan your work schedule around your original award amount. Limited funding may be available for award increases mid- semester. Inquire at the OneStop. If you qualify for an increase and funding is available, you will receive a revised award notice, and we will notify your employer(s) of the increase after your award is adjusted.

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Can I earn more than my work study award amount?

Many, but not all, on-campus employers allow student employees to continue working when the work-study award runs out before the award period ends. It is the employers decision whether or not to employ the student after their award has ended.

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Can I transfer my fall/spring work-study award to the summer term if I did not earn the full award before spring semester ended?

Work-study awards for the fall and spring semesters expire on the last day of spring semester. Fall semester only awards expire on the last day of fall semester. The unused portion of an award is forfeited once the award period ends. If you enroll least half time for May/Summer term, you will be considered for a new Work-study award specific to the summer term, as long as you continue to meet the general eligibility requirements.

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Should I report my work-study earnings on my tax return?

Yes, all earnings are taxable income and must be reported as such. You will receive a W-2 from the University by January 31st. W-2’s are sent to the mailing address you have on file with the University.

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How do I report my work-study earnings on my FAFSA?

In January you will receive an email notification from UMD advising you how much of your University pay was Work-Study funded in the past calendar year. You will be asked to report work-study earnings in the Additional Financial Information section of your FAFSA. This allows your work-study earnings to be excluded when determining your financial need. This is a major benefit of having an award and using your work-study award.

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If I decline my work-study award, will I receive some other form of financial aid?

If you decline your work-study award, you may be eligible for additional student loan funding. Contact One Stop to discuss your loan options. You may decline your work-study award after completing your eFAAN by contacting One Stop.

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